San Francisco. photo courtesy of gravitywave

Dear readers, apologies for being absent lately but unfortunately, I’ll be absent a bit longer. I’m headed to San Francisco, and will be gone until next week. If anything happens while I’m away, please do email me about it. See you next week.

Holiday display, courtesy of WBUR (Flickr)

Hope each one of you has a great long weekend, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, enjoys spending time with family and friends and relaxing in front of the fire, dashing through the snow, etc. I will be in the Boston area through Wednesday, so while I will continue to post if I see anything newsworthy – I won’t be on the streets able to report about what’s happening. If you see or hear of something that sounds like post-worthy – shoot me an email at ustreetgirl AT gmail DOT com.

And Happy Holidays again!

Happy Birthday (courtesy of Rob J Brooks, Flickr)

Happy Birthday (courtesy of Rob J Brooks, Flickr)

U Street Girl turns two today. I certainly can’t believe it. This last year has been quite a whirlwind for me personally, and for my blog.

A lot has happened on the blog in the past year. Remember when I was threatened with a lawsuit? That was fun. Beyond the scary parts: it actually was pretty wonderful. You guys really backed me up on that and it gave me strength. I was profiled in the Washingtonian, which was awesome. I also stopped blogging anonymously, which was pretty great.

In the last year, I’ve written 232 posts, received 585 comments, and had over 150,000 views (that’s about 3 times the amount of views I had during my first year).

In the next year, I hope to perhaps get some different contributors beyond just me (I’m a bit busy over here). If you’re interested in perhaps writing a feature for my blog – send me an email at ustreetgirl AT gmail DOT com. I’m pretty picky, so tell me what you could add to the blog and send me a writing sample or two.

And Happy Blogiversary to U Street Girl.

My name is Catherine Finn, and I write U Street Girl. For the last year and 1o months, I’ve blogged anonymously. If you emailed me, you would have found out my first name. That’s all I was willing to reveal. But, a lot of things have changed.

First, I have a new job that doesn’t require me to hide my identity. Woo hoo for that! Further than that, it’s something I really want to do and am interested in. I really couldn’t be more excited.

Second, I’ve been offered two compelling freelance gigs that I’ve decided to accept, and do so under my real name. You might have noticed posts from me on DCist this weekend; I’ll be one of the weekend editors. You will also be able to read a monthly column that I’ll be writing in MidCity DC (a community paper that is a member of the Hill Rag family) about what’s happening around 14th and U.

So, hello, here I am. My name is Catherine Finn and I’m no longer blogging anonymously.

This morning, TBD, a new venture in local news, launched. What is TBD? TBD is a local news network with TV and an online presence. They are using new media in a wonderful way, writing their own stories, linking to others, and creating a dialogue about the area. As they say, “Our goal is to create a comprehensive guide to local news and entertainment, delivered on multiple platforms, for anyone interested in what’s happening in the region.”

U Street Girl is proud to announce that the blog is a member of their local blog network. It wasn’t a secret before, but now that they’ve officially launched I wanted to let you readers know. This doesn’t mean really any change for readers of U Street Girl, but rather that TBD readers will often be directed to my blog if I’m a part of their local coverage or I write something that is of interest to DC as a whole.

I’m really excited about TBD as someone interested in media, and glad to be a part of their network. I wish them the best of success. Go check out their website today!

When I started blogging, I aspired one day to be featured in something like Washingtonian’s Blogger Beat. So imagine my excitement when Emily Leaman got in touch with me a few weeks ago to interview me for the feature. Check out my interview with Emily, learn a bit more about me and my opinions of all things U street. And thanks so much to Emily for getting in touch and Chris for taking a great, anonymous photo for me.

Tonight, I removed a comment on my post “Du Vin Osteria coming to 14th and Florida” because the owner of Du Vin Osteria, David Shott, sent me an email requesting me to do so, because he found the comment libelous. He also stated he would take legal action if necessary.

It is with regret that I write this post and removed the comment. I wish Mr. Shott had come to me in a more friendly manner and had not immediately written the words “legal action” to a young professional who blogs on her spare time. I was trying to promote Mr. Shott’s business. I posted the comment because it seemed to raise relevant concerns about Mr. Shott.

It is also with regret that I will state this is the last time I will be talking about Du Vin Osteria or Mr. Shott on my blog. I will not promote or patronize his business and will recommend others do the same.

This whole incident has saddened me deeply. That one business owner decided to talk “legal action” to a blogger about something that she didn’t even write, I find beyond unnecessary. I am writing this post to state the facts of the matter, my feelings about it, and no more.